I’m sure it’s happened to you. You get a phone call from a number from the same area code as yours, with the same three-digit central office code and a very similar four-digit station number to your phone number. You feel compelled to answer it because the phone number looks nearly identical to yours. Don’t answer the call, it’s most likely a scam.
The calls from lookalike numbers have been annoying people in the U.S. and Canada for months now. The scammers purposely use the technique of using similar phone numbers to trick victims into answering. People assume the similar phone numbers must be a family member or someone they know so they are compelled to answer. If you do answer the phony phone call the person may be impersonating the IRS, claiming to collect a debt, immigration authorities, utility company representatives, local police or pretending to be computer tech support. Do not give them any information.
If you don’t recognize its best to not answer and let it go to voicemail. You can listen to the message and determine if it is fraudulent or not. Don’t talk to the scam call because you may give the con-person information they may use to take advantage of you. The Do Not Call Registry is only for telemarketing calls and doesn’t cover scam callers. You can get scam call tips over at the Better Business Bureau.